The Bio4Comp project, which started in January 2017, specializes on parallel network-based biocomputation.
Part of the consortium already demonstrated proof-of-principle of a parallel-computation system in which a given combinatorial problem is encoded into a graphical, modular network that is embedded in a nanofabricated planar device. The problem is then solved by a large number of independent biological agents, namely molecular-motor-propelled protein filaments, exploring the network in a highly parallel fashion.
The Bio4Comp team explains further the project idea:
Imagine a microchip that runs on a few nanograms of biochemical fuel instead of watts of electrical power. This may sound like science fiction now, but within the Bio4Comp consortium, which is supported by the EU's Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) programme, we have demonstrated that - at least in principle - this is actually possible.
As a result, Bio4Comp works on establishing the technological and scientific basis for robust upscaling of the approach, demonstrating scalability by systematically increasing the problem size by several orders of magnitude, and developing new algorithms with the aim to open up a wide range of applications. The researchers continue:
Notably, our approach uses orders of magnitude less energy than conventional computers, thus addressing issues related to power-consumption and heat-dissipation. We demonstrate the feasibility and scalability of this approach by fabricating and operating devices that solve several NP-complete problems of increasing difficulty.
In this process, Bio4Comp is establishing a whole technology platform that interfaces microfluidics with biomolecular transport and electronics which could be developed into novel biotechnological lab-on-a-chip devices:
Within Bio4Comp we have developed a whole technology platform that will enable us to scale down microfluidic applications to nanoscale channels and integrate microfluidics with electronics to develop highly integrated lab-on-a-chip devices. We invite you to discuss with us the challenges and prospects of developing our technology platform into marketable applications and shape the future of our technology by contributing to our roadmap.
Currently, BIO4COMP proposes a webinar presenting the new method. It takes place on Thursday, December 10, 2020, 12:00 (CET). The webinar will last 1 hour approximately, allowing time for questions.
It is open for scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, and industry in the fields of alternate computing, biotechnology and lab-on-a chip devices. The coordinating institution of the project, Lund University, hosts the event.
If you are interested in the Bio4Comp approach and want to know more, register here.
Bio4Comp offers also the opportunity of hands-on trainings on how to build and run computer based on biological filaments extremely energy efficient. The deadline to apply for the training is 15th December 2020. Find more information about the training and application in FETFX article.
FET-Open and FET Proactive are now part of the Enhanced European Innovation Council (EIC) Pilot (specifically the Pathfinder), the new home for deep-tech research and innovation in Horizon 2020, the EU funding programme for research and innovation.